I make stuff up...and collect dogs.

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I used to watch her sitting on the stairs, twisting the phone cord around her fingers while she gabbed with her friends, rocking back and forth on the parquet tile floor, squinching her nearly prehensile toes around the curved edges of the worn wood stairs.

I remember being envious of her olive skin that always had a faint tan, and of her long fingers and strong nails, her black curly hair – curls she hated.

I would have given anything to have curls like that.
But she would have anything to have my pin-straight strawberry hair, along with my innocent youth.


I’ve never been a fan of spiders…

This summer has been far more spidery than I remember other summers being, but I’m not sure if there are really more little crawly things or if I’m just hyper-aware of them.

Oddly, I’m less afraid of them than I used to be, only making my husband come to do away with them when I can’t reach their cob-webby homes in the corners of my kitchen, or bathroom, or bedroom.

I would be far less opposed to spiders if they limited their existence to places where I never have cause to be naked.

Sunday Brunch (Random Musings)

I stayed up too late writing and ended up hung over on words and ideas and lack of sleep and desperate for naps and tall cool glasses of water, which I took in alternate sessions.

The ice machine has ceased making ice. Again. I am an ice junkie. This is a problem.

I miss the days when I spent my weekends jumping from book to book, like stepping stones in a lazy creek.

The weather is playing tricks on me, looking murky and cool, but really being hot. FOUL! I call FOUL!!

(Fuzzy said he might steal my exclamation-point key!)

Soaking Meditation

Bath time, for her, is as sacred as Sunday mass, and as soothing to her body as yoga might be for those who practice it.

Even though her tub is hers, and hers alone, she lights candles, pours a glass of wine or a mug of herbal tea, sets the radio to play her favorite feed from NPR’s weekend array, and brings a book along.

Sometimes she uses grocery store bubble bath in lavender or mint, but she’s a fan of expensive bubble bars and bath bombs as well.

She especially likes that one from Lush that smells like autumn.

Unconscious Mutterings #658

I say…
And you think…?

  1. Personal :: project
  2. Altruistic :: reasons
  3. Human :: kindness
  4. Nude :: picture
  5. Online :: presence
  6. Oh oh :: oh…it’s magic
  7. P@ssw0rd :: protected
  8. Sunbathe :: coppertone
  9. Waste of time :: sleep
  10. Management :: time

Meme Source: LunaNina.com

#Thursday 13: 2015-01

1. What’s a nickname only your family calls you?
Miss Meliss

2. Chocolate or Vanilla?

3. What is your favorite quote?
I don’t believe in favorites. Right now this is speaking to me:
“Autumn stars shine through gaps in the wall…. [H]e… brews midnight tea by the stove’s ruddy light.” ~From a traditional Taoist song, quoted in John Eaton Calthorpe Blofeld, The Chinese Art of Tea

4. What’s a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you’re alone?
“Man of La Mancha,” but it’s hardly secret.

5. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
Poor table manners.

6. What was the last thing you ate?
Greek yogurt with fruit and organic local honey.

7. If you could change your name, what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t. I used to hate my name, and I still think it’s frumpy, but I’m accustomed to it.

8. Favorite pizza topping?
I don’t do favorites. Pepperoni and pineapple make a good combination, though.

9. What did you want to be when you were little?
A marine biologist. A jockey. A writer.

10. What’s your favorite flower?
Again, I don’t do favorites. I buy whatever’s seasonal or whimsical.

11. Which of the 5 senses do you consider to be your strongest?

12. What’s your favorite food that begins with the letter “S”?
My tastes change too frequently for me to have favorites. Lately, I’ve been into shawarma.

13. Name the last song you listened to.
“This Never Happened Before”

For more on this visit: https://www.facebook.com/Thursday13meme?fref=ts


He loves to go out for crepes on Saturday mornings.

It has, in fact, become their weekend ritual: morning sex, slow showers, and then out to breakfast, to the comic book store, and back home for cozy, puttery afternoons.

On rainy Saturdays she spends the afternoon writing and backing, moving between her laptop on the kitchen table, and the actual kitchen.

Most of the time she bakes batter breads – banana, pumpkin, zucchini – or cookies (his favorite: chocolate chip with walnuts), but sometimes she’ll surprise him with lingonberry tarts or strawberry rhubarb pie.

Every Saturday morning. This scene from their marriage.

Baby Grand

The piano came with the house.

They found it discarded in the basement, the soundboard cracked.

She’d always wanted a piano, so they hoisted it up, and put it back together, had it tuned and timed.

She didn’t know how to read music, but she could play by ear, her elegant fingers coaxing beautiful sounds from the cast-off instrument.

If anyone else had bought the house…
If they didn’t live in reasonably humid New Jersey…
If music wasn’t as much a part of his soul as it was hers…

But that did, and they do, and it is.
Baby grand.


At some point she began talking to the walls.

Really, she said, she was speaking to the former residents of her house, whose shadow-selves had been imprinted thereupon almost like a mural only she could see.

An animated, techni-color mural.

We’re never sure if we should humor her, or try to coax her awareness back to the here and now. The truth is, it’s harder for us than it is for her, because she doesn’t register the devastation on our faces when she fails to recognize us.

“Why aren’t you in school, sweetie?” she asks.
“I’m thirty,” I remind her.

Sunday Brunch: Random

Random things about today:
Leftover birthday cake for breakfast, a mug of steaming coffee to cut the sweetness and wake my brain cells.
When you’re a freelancer weekends are arbitrary, anyway.

I read and write and nap and watch bad television and cuddle dogs.

“Are you hungry?” my husband asks.

What he really means is, “I’m hungry, but I don’t want to make anything so I’ll just sit and starve until you can be coaxed into the kitchen.”

“I’ll make an omelet if you let me watch the end of this movie.”

“What channel?”


“Use lots of cheese.”


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